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Senate wants decentralisation of Nigeria Police Force

The Senate has called for the decentralization of the Nigeria Police Force and strengthening operational strategies of community policing as a way of addressing problem of insecurity in the country.

This formed part of the recommendations of the Senate Ad-hoc committee on Nigeria security challenges which was considered and approved at plenary on Tuesday.

The upper chamber had set up an Ad-hoc committee on Nigeria security challenges on Jan. 29, under the chairmanship of the Senate Leader, Sen. Yahaya Abdullahi.(APC Kebbi.)

The Senate Spokesperson, Sen. Ajibola Basiru, said in a statement that the committee, in its report, made wide ranging recommendations which were also approved by the chamber.

According to him, Senate urged the executive to direct the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Inspector General of Police to “decentralise the police command structure with operational and budgetary powers” vested in the zonal commands.

Basiru said Senate also urged the Federal Government to set up zonal security advisory committees at each Zonal command to advise on the security challenges facing each zone.

He added that the composition of the zonal advisory council as proposed by the upper chamber include; Governors in the Zone; Zonal AIG of Police.

Others are State Commissioners of Police in the Zone; State Directors of the Department of State Security Service; Zonal Immigration Officers; Zonal Customs Officers; and Representative of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps in the Zone.

Other recommended members included: Representative of the Nigeria Correctional Service in the Zone; Chairmen of State Traditional Rulers Council in the Zone; Faith-based leaders in the zone; Civil Society Representatives in the Zone; Representative of Senators from the Zone; Representative of Members of House of Representatives from the Zone.

Representatives of Business Community and Labour in the Zone; and any Person or persons deemed to be useful and relevant, taking into account the socio-cultural peculiarities of the zone.

Recommendations were also made for the expansion of the State Security Council and constitution of Area Command, Local Government and Ward Level Advisory Councils.

The Senate, accordingly, urged the federal government to direct the Ministry of Police affairs and the Inspector General of Police to immediately implement the Community Policing Strategy involving local stakeholders at the grassroots, and traditional rulers with a view to addressing local security challenges.

Senate also urged the state assemblies to make necessary laws to legalize community policing even at the Local Government level.

It also called on State Governors to fund community policing from grants appropriated to each local government. (NAN)

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